Let's walk the Pennine Way!
Pennine Way Blog Part 1
2020 should of been my year, my best year. As thing’s turned out, I ended up rescinding my notice for my job of four years and spent four months (and counting) of Covid19 lock down working from my bedroom in my parents home. Quite the change from touring Europe and beyond on my motorcycle while hiking and camping in the world’s beauty spots for “It’s Not A Race To The End“. No one accounts for a global pandemic when planning such an adventure, yet we can only play the hand we are dealt. Faced with delaying my trip I desperately needed something to focus on, another great adventure to occupy my imagination. 260 miles of the Pennine Way would do the job nicely.
I’ve long been interested in thru-hiking, the concept of hiking long distance over days, weeks and even months. However, this would be my first official thru-hike. Arguably the Pennine Way is one of the toughest long distance trails in the U.K, famed for bogs, bad weather and it’s overall length. Sure there were other thru hikes that I could have chosen, but the Pennine Way winds it’s way through both the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales. This means the first half of the journey north, I would be on familiar ground, passing through towns and landscapes that I know my way around. Let’s hope it shows once I’m out there!
Not Alone On The Pennine Way
That was it then. The Pennine Way would be my "thing" for this year. Enough to keep me contempt while waiting for next spring and my ultimate departure for foreign lands upon two wheels. I set a date with work, August 23rd - September 6th I would be on the trail and clocking up miles.
A pleasant surprise was that a colleague would be joining me. Dave, from the same development team as I. Although I was fully prepared to hike the way solo, It would be great to share the experience and the ups and the downs with someone.
"Happiness is only real when shared" - Christopher Mccandless.
Dave was no doubt fitter and stronger than I. Yet I had more experience with wild-camping and hiking in some of the first landscapes we would be traversing. Experience has definately shown me, from my first ever wild camp, that one can merely survive, or thrive when wild-camping. The quality of one's overnight camp, hydration, sustanance and rest would all be vital factors in completing the Pennine Way. From my previous multi day hikes, I know what causes me to struggle, hopefully I have learned from those mistakes. With my knowledge of the route and Dave's bold, can-do and energetic attitude, we should make a strong team.
Most people complete the Pennine Way between 16 & 19 days according to the many guidebooks and articles. We had just 15 days which is around 17 miles a day. A fine challenge it would be. Wild camping would come to our advantage here, getting a few more miles in before pitching up without leaving the trail too far behind. However, the days would be relentless. Pushing for 20 miles and more a day is something we will be aiming for. Time to get fit and get kitted out.
Whats To Come
I confess that I am a bit of a gear nerd, a gram counter and a champion of the light weight thru-hiker ideology. If you would like to read about the gear, footwear and clothing that I plan on lugging all the way to Scotland, please stick around for the next article.